This is by far one of my favorite places to visit in Italy. It is exactly what it claims to be, a working farm, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Traveling to the farm from Rome takes some time, but I found that the instructions from the Italy Farm Stay Website were simple to follow, and got me where I need to be. The bus from Rome arrived at the Station in Sora, where after a quick call to Antonello, the van arrived to take me to the farm after less than ten minutes.
Upon arrival, I found the room to be clean, with a comfortable bed, and plenty of space to not feel crowded. A hot meal after a full day of travelling is always a welcome sight, but this was a truly amazing collection of fresh garden vegetables and pasta, with fresh meat for those choosing the non-vegetarian option. Maria has an exceptional talent for creating flavorful meals from fresh ingredients, most coming from right there on the farm. Guests have the opportunity to enroll in cooking classes throughout the week, where Maria and Antonello give instruction for making fresh pasta and other fun creations. The food was definitely one of the highlights of my week on the farm. A couple of the rating categories, the pool and fitness center, don't exactly apply to the farm. If you are looking for a pool, I'm sure there is a resort in Italy that will have what you are seeking. The main water options that I found on my trip were the waterfall hike, offering some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, and a lake outside of town, with exceptionally clear cold water, a suitable spot for brave travelers to have a swim on a hot day. The fitness center is absolutely not required in this area, with plenty of steep hills and mountains to challenge even the most physically fit individuals. One of the activities that I would recommend to someone in good to moderate physical condition is the trip to the abandoned village. We combined this with a stop at the bear sanctuary in Campoli on the way back to the farm. Antonello's outgoing Italian personality and historical narrative add excitement, fun, and a bit of adventure to this outing. I didn't go on the horseback riding excursion this time, but heard positive feedback from those who did, as we were all talking around the campfire at night. One of the most highly recommended activities, if a person has a day to spare, and is feeling up to the challenge of driving in Italy, is to rent a car in Sora and explore the National Park. Antonello can arrange for the car rental in town, which will provide the freedom for some unguided exploration of the surrounding area. I was able to easily find three other travelers to share in the expense of the car, and keep me company on my journey through the Abruzzo National Park. With a basic map, the trip was very easy, and well worth the cost of the car and fuel. The first stop we made was at a cute little hilltop town named Opi. It was like walking into a postcard, with the narrow winding cobblestone streets, historical buildings, and views of surrounding valleys and mountain towns. After exploring Opi, we drove on toward Lago di Barrea, where we found a little roadside restaurant with an outside dining option. After passing the lake, we ended the day in Barrea, a picturesque hillside town with a pleasant cafe overlooking the lake, and some fine espresso to sip while enjoying the view. I highly recommend Italy Farm Stay as a place to get away from city life, explore nature, and meet travelers from all over the world looking to do the same! However, remember that it is a working farm, with dirt and mud at times, animals with the accompanying noises and unique scents, and the need to walk a bit farther in order to get to town. On a final note, take the bareback horse ride around the yard when Giuseppe offers, as it is a highlight of what is sure to be an amazing experience at the farm.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Real Italian agriturismo right between Rome and Naples in Abruzzi National Park. With fantastic activities to enjoy: horseback riding, cooking classes, day hike, overnight hike, visit to the cheese-making shepherd, Italian language classes, yoga. Well-served by bus and train from Rome and Naples. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Italy Farm Stay Hotel Pescosolido
- Italy Farm Stay Pescosolido